By Rahul Lal

Today would’ve been rap legend Tupac Shakur’s 45th birthday. Here’s a few facts about him that you may not have known.

1. Tupac was born Lesane Parish Crooks in 1971 but his name was changed to Tupac Amuru Shakur in 1972 to commemorate the Peruvian revolutionary Tupac Amuru.

2. Tupac and Madonna dated for a brief period of time. It all started with Madonna slipping Tupac a note. While the contents of the note have never been revealed, the two began a relationship shortly afterwards.

3. Tupac and Jada Pinkett-Smith became close friends when they met at the Baltimore School for the Arts. They even tried to kiss each other and very quickly realized it was “disgusting for both.” At the time of his death, Tupac considered Pinkett-Smith his closest friend.

4. Tupac got on Quincy Jones’ bad side in 1993 by calling him out for having relationships with so many white women. Jones’ daughter, actress Rashida Jones (who was only 17 at the time), fired back, writing an aggressive letter to the rapper. Tupac eventually apologized to the family, got engaged to Quincy’s daughter Kidada, created a close friendship with Rashida and went on to make music with Quincy.

5. Tupac got his nickname, “Makaveli,” after reading Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli’s The Prince while he was incarcerated. He went on to change his stage name from 2Pac to Mackavelli.


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